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Generic representation of Understanding the dynamics of recrational fisheries: Patterns, drivers, space and time in Bonefish (Albula vulpes) in South Florida


03rd January 2018, at 1:30 pm

Amph. B (CP)

Understanding the dynamics of recrational fisheries: Patterns, drivers, space and time in Bonefish (Albula vulpes) in South Florida

Jennifer Rehage       

(Assistant Professor – Florida International University, Miami, FL - Institute of Water and and Enviroment)





There is increasing evidence that similar to commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries can be prone to severe declines. Yet these fisheries are often data-poor, particularly catch-and-release fisheries, making it a challenge to conduct stock assessments and quantify their resilience. In the past decades, recreational catches of bonefish (Albula vulpes) have decreased significantly throughout South Florida. The mechanisms driving these declines are unknown, yet concerning given the large socio-economic value of the fishery. Here we asked: 1) What are the spatiotemporal patterns of bonefish catches? and 2) What are the relationships and  relative importance of water quality, climatic parameters, and habitat dynamics in driving these declines? Analyses point to a decline in catches since 1975, with an acceleration starting in the late 1990s. Analyses showed 42% reduction in bonefish catches, and 60% reduction in bonefishing quality. Results also show that the core of bonefishing significantly shifted southward over time, and to interacting drivers of decline.

Short CV

Dr. Jennifer Rehage is a fish ecologist and associate professor in the Earth and Environment Department at Florida International University. Over the past 13 years, Dr. Rehage has been studying how changes to the natural hydrology of the Everglades affect fish communities in the freshwater and coastal reaches of the ecosystem.

Her research examines the interacting effects of water, climate, and management decisions on fish across multiple scales, from their individual behavior to ecological populations and communities, and socioecological scales. Studies by her lab use a variety of tools from tagging studies in the field, to experiments and the use of angler records to better understand how fish are affected by both natural and anthropogenic disturbance.

Recent research integrate human dimensions to better understand how economically-important recreational fisheries such as snook and bonefish respond to variation in hydroclimatic drivers and to ongoing and future Everglades restoration efforts. Her work relies on angler knowledge and involve anglers in citizen science in her research. Jennifer received her PhD from the University of Kentucky, where she specialized in studying fish behavior and the implications of behavior for the functioning of ecological communities.



Amph. B (CP)
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